Data is key to verification, replication, reuse, and enhanced understanding of research conclusions. When your data is in a repository—instead of an…
Written by Lindsay Morton
Demonstrating reproducibility shows integrity, inspires trust and respect, and encourages reuse. That means you’ll receive more attention for each individual article, exert a greater impact on your research community, and contribute to a more efficient research ecosystem overall. Here are five steps you can take to improve the reproducibility of your research.
- Share Open Methods
Reproducibility is in the details. It’s difficult to reproduce results—much less adapt a methodology for reuse—based on the information in a research article alone. Whether your methods include protocols, code, or something else, making them accessible inspires trust, facilitates reuse, and extends the life of the work.
- Fully document and report materials
Materials are just as important to reproducibility as the procedures, protocols, and analytical tools used in conducting a study. From human specimens to microbes, the specific identity and provenance of samples can profoundly impact outcomes. In the life sciences, the MDAR checklist provides researchers with a framework for capturing and reporting these details.
- Post Open Data in a public repository
Open data provides the details necessary for researchers to validate, replicate and reproduce one another’s results. Posting a FAIR-compliant dataset in a public repository improves discoverability and ensures your data remains accessible as a permanent part of the scientific record.
- Publish complementary or “scooped” research
When different research groups achieve similar results around the same time, it reinforces the validity of both studies. That makes both investigations well worth sharing.
- Conduct and publish replication and validation studies
Similarly, researchers who take the time to validate, replicate, and reanalyze previous work are providing a valuable service―one which can underscore the rigor of the original research, add nuance and deepen understanding, or help to correct the scientific record if necessary.